Joining an artist’s group may seem like an opportunity for crushing rejection or tedious message boards, but for Etsy and Ebay artists, the rewards are worth the effort. Finding a community open to supporting or critiquing art and a means of promoting the latest project for sale outweigh the hesitation of new or inexperienced artists when it comes to applying for membership.
The number and range of groups covers the spectrum of art on Ebay, with memberships ranging from elite cliques to open, friendly groups. Some groups, like the prestigious EHAG for Halloween-oriented artists, have yearly requirements ranging from percentage of Halloween art produced to the number of activities in which members must participate. Others, like the members of VIPP, are a gathering of crafters and artists who simply seek regular participation from members in discussions on selling, promoting, and improving their work.
On Etsy, the craft and artists groups are equally diverse. Followers of Mary Jane’s Farm join an online crafter’s group to share their primitive and artistic designs; the old-fashioned Old Farmhouse Gathering encompasses woodworkers, dollmakers, card designers, and every other kind of primitive crafter who maintains an Etsy shop.
The prestige of membership isn’t the only benefit — members often find active advice and criticism (even the painful kind) from helpful and experienced artists. Others simply enjoy having a place to vent openly about projects gone wrong and artistic roadblocks, or share their latest triumphs. With threads devoted to daily activities, pop culture, and lighthearted topics, many groups manage to create a friendly, personal environment in addition to the threads on selling, promoting, and creating unique projects. Artist groups form a community that both promotes their field of artistry and sense of belonging that helps many sellers feel less isolated in the online world.